Jerry Micco's sports chat transcript: 4.17.13

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Poll Question:

Are you in favor of the NHL adding more outdoor games besides the Winter Classic?

Answer #1:

Yes (14%)

Answer #2:

No (86%)

Guest: Hello Friends, better Masters commentator Jim Nantz or the late great Pat Summerall?

Jerry Micco: That's a tough one because both are/were very good at that job. I might lean toward Nantz, but Summerall could deliver a game and you'd never know who he was behind the mic. Nantz has that quality, too, and he was a Division I golfer at Houston, so I might lean more toward him. And Verne Lundquist is still great doing No. 16. No one better at it than him when it comes to handling a couple of holes.

Ralph_LA: The first few weeks of the baseball season I was upset that the Pirates lost Hanrahan, but now it looks like the Pirates got it right in that one instance.

Jerry Micco: I think while closers are important, unless you have a Mariano Rivera type guy, who is so dominant he's nearly unhittable, then you can find and develop closers on a pretty regular basis. I don't think they foresaw Hanrahan injuring a hamstring, but they were smart enough to know Grilli could fill that role and cost them a lot less money.

James_Pittsburgh: Does the signing of Sanders put an end to any hope of the Steelers signing Ahmad Bradshaw?

Jerry Micco: They don't have a lot of money to throw around, but you can still try to rework contracts to get money if, indeed, they want to sign Bradshaw. But I don't think they want to sign him. They've had weeks to do that and haven't pulled the trigger. I do think by round 4 they will draft a RB and put him with Redman, Dwyer and Batch. And my guess is you'll see a couple of undrafted FAs (remember Willie Parker?) signed, too.

Bruce: All the experts on last weeks chat saying the Steelers should take the 3rd round pick were wrong. Do you think the Steelers realize how decimated they are this off season and HAD to keep Sanders?

Jerry Micco: Were they wrong or were they just expressing an opinion? I'd have taken the pick, but obviously the Steelers didn't want their starting WRs to be Antonio Brown and Plaxico Burress. But if you read between the lines of Jordan Woy's comments to Ed Bouchette, Sanders will likely leave after a year and the Steelers will have AB and an older Cotchery and Burress. I still think they may take 2 WRs in this draft for that very reason.

James_Pittsburgh: When will the Pirates stop spending money on over the hill veterans that are clearly in decline? I would rather see the Pirates sign Yasiel Puig than Russell Martin. And yes, the Pirates needed a catcher, but Kelly Shoppach

offered superior offensive production for less money.Shoppach would be a perfect platoon with Michael McKenry.

Jerry Micco: I think the Pirates liked the way, and still like the way, Russell handles pitchers and the fact that he doesn't strike out much. Hard to say someone is going to have a terrible season 13 games into a 162-game season. I'm willing to give Martin some time. And with McKenry as a backup, it gives them a nice catching duo.

James_Pittsburgh: Do you know if the Pirates actually have scouts in Asia? They don't seem to sign any Asian players.

Jerry Micco: Well, they did sign the 2 guys from India who won the contest over there. One, I think Rinku Singh, is in extended spring training working on some physical issues. I don't know if they are heavily into Asian scouting, but you are right, they do not sign many Asian players.

UPJ man: with the Steelers keeping Sanders, does this all but close the door on signing Ahmad Bradshaw? And also lessen the probability of #1 pick being WR ?

Jerry Micco: I think the door on Bradshaw may have closed before they signed Sanders. I think they were worried about his chronic foot injury more than anything else. Besides, they have a couple of big backs that can bang it up the middle. However, I do not think signing Sanders means they will not draft a WR in round 1. There are many first-round WRs, but I see most of them being picked between 22 and 32. Look for a load of them to go at the end of round 1.

Greg Norman: Did Tiger sign an incorrect scorecard and DQ'd himself?

Jerry Micco: I don't think he did. He was told of the ruling and taking that into account, scored the hole properly. It was only later when it was brought to his attention a second time after the round, that he took the penalty. I don't think he signed an improper scorecard. When a rules official tells you how to score it, then you've had your ruling.

Jon: Had Tiger won on Sunday, everyone would have been up in arms about the penalty and if he shoud have DQ'd himself. But no one is upset that a golfer using a semi (soon to be fully) banned putting style won?

Jerry Micco: I'm not a fan of the long putters and belly putters and never have been. I cannot wait until they are put out of use, though the PGA Tour may not follow the USGA and the R&A on that one, which would be a terrible call on the PGA's part. It's an anchored shot, period. I think Adam Scott is a wonderful golfer, but his putting has dramatically improved since going to the long putter.

Rock: I see in Ed's chat he said the Steelers consider Redman their best back. Seeing as he hasn't yet signed his tender, & could sign elsewhere - how will this impact the draft & signing of Bradshaw?

Jerry Micco: If Redman doesn't sign the tender, and he has until Friday to do so, then you may see the Steelers jump on Bradshaw. But I think Redman will sign. And I see the Steelers taking a running back in this draft, likely by round 4. It's not a great RB draft, but there are some decent ones in the field. And remember, you can always get undrafted FAs.

Ken: Summerall and Brookshier on "This Week in Pro Football", c. 1973...people don't remember, it was usually the only way to see how the Raiders beat the Broncos the previous Sunday.

Jerry Micco: I posted a tape from a 1971 show on my Twitter feed yesterday. I used to race home from CCD classes (before 1970) to see that show. And if I recall, they were 15 minutes long. They only showed so many highlights and it was the only time you really saw them. I loved that show, and it turned me into a big NFL fan. That hasn't stopped, either.

Pudge- Ohio: Pat Summerall and Dick Enberg could do any sport - Do you think there will be any more Steelers released- or are there more big contracts to restructure for cap space ?

Jerry Micco: Max Starks hasn't been asked to re-sign, at least to my knowledge. I don't know that any other Steelers will be released who are starters or near starters. The Steelers will get a big bump of money in June when the Colon contract is cleared. That's likely how they'll pay the guys they draft. This year, they have 8 picks (2 in round 6).

James_Pittsburgh: Mike Shanahan got Morris in the 6th round last year.So I guess there is hope for the running back position.

Jerry Micco: Certainly. Look at the Steelers history. Parker was undrafted. Barry Foster was a 5th-round pick. They've had other RBs who have drifted in and out of their lineup who were low-round picks or undrafted.

James_Pittsburgh: The Pirates are 6-7. Are you still predicting 82 wins?

Jerry Micco: No. I predicted 83, and I'm sticking with that. Of course, I didn't know the starting pitching would be bad (Sanchez) or injured (Rodriguez). But I think they are going to hit through the middle of the order, and the starters will round into shape. Liriano and Morton could be a big help in a month or so.

The Chief: Hi Jerry, it was a terric Masters except for the Tiger Woods debacle. Your thoughts on how the whole thing was handled?

Jerry Micco: I think that as far as him signing an incorrect scorecard, well that's not on Tiger in my opinion. And I'm not a big Tiger fan. I'm hearing a lot of people complain that a person watching on TV shouldn't be able to call in to alert officials of a violation. Sort of like people calling in during an NFL game and saying the officials missed a blatant hold. I think they did the right thing with the penalty.

Bill L: As we know, James Harrison doesn't back down. I guess he's sticking close to a pretty high # since no signing by the Bengals yet.

Jerry Micco: I think that's all that's holding James Harrison back. If he'd come down from his stated price of $6.75 million, he'd be signed by now. The Steelers asked that he cut his salary 30 percent and he refused. So if you do some basic math, they wanted him to take a $2.025 million cut and make about $4.6 million. I guess that ship has sailed here, but I don't see Harrison signing unless it's significantly lower than that number now.

James_Pittsburgh: Jerry, it is largely irrelevant how Russll Martin plays. The $8.5 million invested on him could have been used to improve the team. Kelly Shoppach signed with the Mariners for $1.5 million. The remaining $7 million could have been spent to upgrade the team.

Jerry Micco: I guess, but that's over two years, so actually you're taking about getting one $7 million player. Or two players for that price. That's a backup infielder in today's game. They need a catcher. McKenry can't catch every day. Shoppach is hitting .389 in 7 games with a homer and 2 RBI. I mean, is he that much better than Martin? I guess the question is this: is Martin an upgrade over Barajas? And take calling games and defense into account, too.

The Chief: When the Penguins finally get healthy where do you see Jokinen and Morrow fitting in?

Jerry Micco: Jokinen will probably be the 4th line center, or will man one of the wings on the third line, dropping Kennedy down to the 4th line. I see Morrow staying on the third or fourth line depending on what they do with Cooke. I think when it's all said and done, the third line will be Cooke-Sutter-Morrow. The fourth Adams-Jokinen-Kennedy.

Guest: Will the PG beef up its covering of the Riverhounds? It's nice to see they built their own stadium without taxpayers funds, and it's a nice venue.

Jerry Micco: We do plan on doing more with the Hounds this season. We covered their home opener, but now they are gone for 5 games. We can't cover them on the road, but we'll make sure to put in their results. I think we'll also do more features as warranted, too.

The Chief: If Sid does not come back for the regular season does he still win the Hart, or will it be Ovenchicken?

Jerry Micco: I think Sid will win it if he comes back for the regular season. And you could argue he could win it even with his shortened season. No one was better when he was healthy.

Guest: Are you in favor of more outdoor hockey games? I think it's great, I like how the NHL is more open to marketing it's self like this and making changes in general, if this were the NFL they would have to do years of studies before making any changes.

Jerry Micco: I don't mind outdoor games, and I agree that the NHL is a league that's not afraid to try stuff. But if you are marketing the Winter Classic as a big deal, then putting other outdoor games on the schedule takes away from that. And I'm not sure that's a good idea.

James_Pittsburgh: I really wish that Kevin Correia was still in a Pirates uniform. He made 33 starts a year and didn't get hurt. He is 1-1 so far with the Twins in 21.1 innings.

Jerry Micco: Correia was making about $4.5 million a year and my guess is he would have wanted more to stay with the Pirates. I think the Pirates weren't willing to do that so he moved on. Essentially, you have Sanchez for him and that's not a good move by the Pirates. Hard to judge how poorly the rotation will be without Correia until we see how Liriano does. If he's able to bounce back from the arm issue, then that's a plus. And if Morton comes back to near form, that's a plus, too. But there are a lot of "ifs" in that starting rotation. Including Gerrit Cole, who finally had a good game the other night.

Pudge- Ohio: First time I have ever joined a chat- great job Jerry ! I am sold on Jarvis Jones at # 1 if he is available- your thoughts ?

Jerry Micco: Jones is probably as good a pass-rushing OLB as there is in the draft. Not the best, but near the top. I think he's the popular choice for the Steelers because I think people have little faith, justifiably, in Jason Worilds. But it will be interesting to see how this draft falls. Jones may be there at 17. So might Vaccaro, the safety from Texas. Or Tyler Eifert, the great TE from Notre Dame. All interesting choices. Add to that, Cordarrelle Patterson, the WR from Tennessee who everyone seems to think is a very good player. Should be an interesting slot for the Steelers to be in.

Phil: Hard to criticize a guy for a outside hobby, but I think it's more like an obsession. Time to get rid of the fishing pole JMac. You can fish all you want in ten years.

Jerry Micco: I wonder if he casts in the proper arm slot? I'd imagine fishing relaxes him, but if I'm the Pirates, I'd be more concerned about that velocity drop. I think they are, but publicly are not saying anything. He's a key to the rotation because once Wandy's healthy, they still have a nice 1-2 punch with him and Burnett. If JMac can get it together, it gets them that much deeper with quality starters. But if he can't, makes them very vulnerable.

JamesinNYC: Who comes in and shores up the pitching for the PBC? Most wins of the 2nd wave group?

Jerry Micco: I'm curious to see Liriano come back, but we'll see how that works out. Sanchez had one meh inning last night then one good one before the rainout. The only thing that benefitted the Bucs last night was the bullpen got a rest. I don't see a lot of wins past McDonald, and I don't see a lot of wins there, either, unless he can straighten things out.

yinzer in va: Jerry, Too many outdoor games is overkill, especially having the Rangers play twice. I think one more in Canada, between 2 Canadian teams, is enough. It keeps the Winter Classic unique and special.

Jerry Micco: I would agree with that. Especially putting a game in Canada, too.

Goon: ETA for Crosby's return, game #1 of playoffs? How do u think the layoff fro the injury will impact his play and the teams success?

Jerry Micco: If I had a guess, I'd say the opening of the playoffs, but do not be surprised if it's not in the middle of that series or even the second round should they advance. He will lose some weight and stamina as he recovers, so they may be extra cautious with him. But if he's cleared, Sid's going to want to go all out. He knows no other way.

James_Pittsburgh: If you are the Steelers GM, do you draft Tyler Eifert with the 17th pick if he is available?

Jerry Micco: Depends on who else is there and if there's someone who wants to trade with you so you can move down and pick up an extra pick. Eifert may be there at 24 or 25, too. He'd be very tempting because you won't have Heath Miller for a good part of the season. This gives Ben another weapon that you can actually line up wide and use as a huge WR (he's 6/6 and 250).

The Chief: The penguins did a lot of "renting" at the deadline, but it still appears to be that the Tomas Vocum signing was Shero's best move this year. Do they bring him back next year?

Jerry Micco: I thought, and I could be wrong about this, that he had a 2-year deal. If not, then I think you see what he wants and you re-sign him. I agree that it was Shero's best offseason move in an offseason where he's been active and very good.

James_Pittsburgh: Hopefully Francisco Liriano is ready soon or it could get ugly with Johnathan Sanchez.

Jerry Micco: Sanchez is such a gamble at this point. Had a decent outing in LA in his first start, but has been ineffective since. His fastball touched 94 in LA, but not been close since. Huge gamble.

Grand Meister: #1 pick - Jarvis Jones, Eiffert, Cordarelle Patterson ? my bets on one of those 3, specifically eiffert or Jones. u agree or someone else?

Jerry Micco: I think those are 3 guys they will look at, and very well will be available. I mentioned Vaccaro, the safety from Texas, as another possibility. But my guess is it'll come down to the three you mentioned. Unless they go for Jonathan Hankins, the 325-pound nose tackle from Ohio State. I doubt it, but to me it's another need position.

Guest: Sounds like a lot of hindsight is 20-20 on the Russell Martin front, my initial thought when he was signed was that it was a decent upgrade. But I guess the Yankees know what they are doing, and that's why he is a Pirate.

Jerry Micco: Could be a switch to the NL has set him back. But again, hard to make that judgment 13 games into the season. He'll not have those HR numbers because PNC Park isn't as homer friendly to righthand hitters as Yankee Stadium, but I want to see him play a bit more before I pronounce this a poor signing.

Guest: Jerry, do you watch ESPN on a regular basis? I'm about done with the Gruden QB camp and Herm Edwards. Overkill.

Jerry Micco: I watch games on ESPN and that's pretty much it. I saw a bit of Gruden the other night, though, when I was flipping through. He was the Raiders coach when I was at my former paper in California, and he's a good guy. I was astounded at how much weight he'd put on. And I thought the QB stuff was a bit over the top, too. But I think he knows his stuff. I wonder why he doesn't think about going back to coaching?

James_Pittsburgh: Ryu Hyun Jin signed for $6 million a year for 6 years. I would have rather seen the Pirates take a chance on an Asian pitcher in his prime and sign Shoppach or another similar catcher. I know that Russell Martin is only signed for two years, but the Pirates will most likely spend that $8.5 million a year on other 30+ year old players in 2015 and beyond.

Jerry Micco: They could. I think they like proven veterans who are considered good receivers.

JD: Do u see the steelers taking someone like a monte ball or maybe a ej manuel in the draft

Jerry Micco: Montee Ball would be a guy they might look at in round 4 or so. Probably not EJ Manuel because I think he may be gone fairly early. If they take a QB, I look at it as one of those 6th-round picks to compete for Batch's spot.

Paul: Garrett Jones is quietly hitting with probably about 25 home runs to come. Can't they extend him for a few years? He has a young child and probably doesn't want to uproot himself.

Jerry Micco: I think they want to see if he can get to 25 again, then you might see him get a couple of more years. He's in his prime now because he was a late bloomer. And he's been a terrific signing for Huntington and the Pirates. The GM rarely is credited for that one.

JD: How do u think shell will do at UCLA And was this the right choice for him despite being in no contact with ASU or arizona

Jerry Micco: UCLA is a good program in a very good conference. Shell has to sit out a year, so we'll see how well he takes care of himself and prepares to play in the Pac-12, which is known for it's speedy skill players. Shell has good, not great, speed but has good power. I think he'll have a good career there if he dedicates himself.

Guest: Amazing it has taken Stamkos nearly 3 weeks to catch Sid. Hockey is missing out on something really special since Sid can't stay healthy a full season?

Jerry Micco: Agreed. He's the best player in the league this season, and it's a shame he had to be sidelined. But it almost seems that's his lot in life.

The Chief: Jerry, you mentioned the arm chair rules officials for golf. Why does the PGA even pay attention to them. They have rules officials at every tournament?

Jerry Micco: Because you can't see every player and every shot. But that rule where viewers can call in, can only hurt leaders or popular players because they are the ones seen on TV the most. I used to think this a quaint thing, but I'm reassessing that thought in wake of some of the calls.

Nellie Briles: Paul Maholm looking like an Ace for the Braves, big mistake letting him go for nothing?

Jerry Micco: I think so. I've always been a fan of his because I thought he had good stuff. Pitchers can take a while to mature. Not everyone is Stephen Stasburg. But you put a guy with good stuff and put the Braves lineup behind him? He could win 20.

JD: Do u think Paul Chryst has a good chance to win 8 or 9 comes this season maybe?

Jerry Micco: I think that's going to be a stretch in the ACC. I've got to look over their schedule when it's closer to the season, but I think 8 wins would be a banner year for Pitt.

Jerry Micco: OK folks I need to run. What a great chat today. Great question, and I apologize that I'm leaving so many on the table. I'll have to give shorter answers in the future. Reminder: Next Wednesday at noon we'll be here, but I'll also be chatting on Thursday and Friday from the draft, joined by Dan Gigler. Huge NFL week coming up, and one of my favorite weeks of the year. So until next time, have a great week and hope to see you several times next week! Follow me on Twitter: @PG_JerryMicco

Steelers - mobilehome - pirates - golf

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